Golden Knights stone Avalanche in overtime, take 3-2 series lead – The Denver Post

Save for three turnovers, the Avalanche played a great Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Those three turnovers, however, led to the game’s final three goals as the Vegas Golden Knights rallied to win their third straight in the second-round series.

Vegas captain Mark Stone scored with a wrist shot 50 seconds into overtime to give the Knights a 3-2 victory at Ball Arena, and a 3-2 series lead. The game-winning play began in the Knights’ end when Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves fired a shot from the point that appeared to carom off Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Knights forward Max Pacioretty backhanded the loose puck ahead to Stone, who outraced Graves to the Avs’ net and beat goalie Philipp Grubauer high to the glove side.

Vegas has won three straight in the series while Colorado fell to 20-1-1 in its past 22 home games. The Golden Knights overcame a 2-0 deficit.

Game 6 is Thursday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Game 7, if necessary, is Saturday at Ball Arena.

Colorado dominated through 40 minutes, taking its 2-0 lead into the third period. And then the wheels fell off.

In short order Vegas forwards Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault scored at 1:03 and 4:07 of the third period after sloppy play by the Avs. The Avs’ offense stalled before and after that scoring binge, producing just one shot through the first 10:10 of the frame. Then, with a chance to go ahead on their first power play of the game after Knights defenseman Shea Theodore went to the box for delay of game, they again failed to capitalize.

The Avs built a 2-0 lead behind a late first-period goal from winger Brandon Saad and another late-frame one by winger Joonas Donskoi in the second. Goalie Philipp Grubauer was perfect to that point, with 14 saves through 40 minutes.

“It was a really good hockey game by our team besides a couple plays that ended up in back of our net,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said.

Donskoi, who had not scored in his previous six playoff games, capped an incredible shift with linemates Tyson Jost and Alex Newhook. The line used a cycle to maintain possession and wear out the Knights defenders, and ultimately, Newhook drove up the right wall from the goal line and found Donskoi for a one-time blast to beat goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at 16:48.

At the end of two periods, the Avs were outshooting the Knights 22-14 — significant dominance despite the aid of a power play. Vegas did not commit a penalty to that point and the game featured just one — a questionable interference minor on Mikko Rantanen in the first period.

The start of the third period was ugly for the Avs.

Tuch’s goal came off a defensive-end turnover by Avalanche winger Andre Burakovsky, whose exit pass was blocked by Mattias Janmark and picked up by Nicholas Roy. Roy fed it ahead to Tuch and he scored from the doorstep. Marchessault, who had a hat trick in Game 4, beat Grubauer with a tap in from the right post to cap a 3-on-2 rush following a blown odd-man rush at the other end.

The Avalanche, outshot 119-63 in the prior three games of the series, had a fantastic start and controlled play for much of the first period. But in the last five minutes, turnovers by defensemen Patrik Nemeth and Cale Makar hemmed the Avs in the defensive zone and Vegas had numerous opportunities to score the first goal.

The siege ended in the final minute. Colorado got a clean exit from defenseman Devon Toews, who used an indirect pass off the sideboards to Saad, and Saad’s long buzzer-beating wrister zipped by Fleury’s right ear with 0.8 seconds on the clock.

Fleury, who catches with his left hand, tried to glove the puck across his body. And he whiffed. After review, the goal officially came with 1.8 seconds remaining in the period.

Colorado outshot the Knights 10-9 in the frame, ended an eight-period stretch of getting outshot (excluding overtime in Game 2).

Footnotes. Colorado shuffled its forward lines and added Newhook, who had played in Games 1 and 2, and Logan O’Connor, who had been on the injured list since March 31. They replaced Carl Soderberg and Kiefer Sherwood, who had played in Games 3 and 4. … The Knights’ Janmark returned after missing the last three games from an injury he suffered in Game 1 on a hit from Avs defenseman Ryan Graves. To make room for him in the lineup, Ryan Reaves was scratched. Vegas also made a change on its blueline, insterting Nick Holden for Nic Hague. … Veteran Avs defenseman Erik Johnson, who hasn’t played since Jan. 31 because of an upper-body injury, skated in a regular sweater Tuesday morning but has yet to be cleared.

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